Safe birth in cultural safety
Working with Indigenous women in Mexico.
Safe birth in cultural safety: A cluster randomized control trial
Throughout the Americas, maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity among indigenous peoples is higher than in the overall population. Mainstream policies and programs encourage indigenous women to deliver in hospitals and clinics, with little regard for their traditions and cultural values. The Safe Birth in Cultural Safety initiative draws on both indigenous and biomedical knowledge and practices to improve maternal and newborn health without disrupting indigenous cultures. Between 2008 and 2012, a pilot study took place in Nancue Ñomndaa (Amuzgo) communities of Xochistlahuaca (Xochis), a rural indigenous community in Guerrero state, Mexico. The results suggested that women can safely give birth without having to give up their traditions in the process. The larger trial in Mexico (2015 to 2017) demonstrated that this culturally respectful way of doing things is not inferior to usual care in terms of mortality and serious childbirth complications and could bring additional benefits in the recovery of indigenous cultures.
Centro de Investigación de Enfermedades Tropicales (CIET) de la Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero
Centro de Estudios Médicos Interculturales
Grupo de Estudios en Sistemas Tradicionales de Salud de la Universidad del Rosario
Dates: 2013 to 2017
Funding: The National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico (CONACyT, PDCPN-2013-214858) funded the cluster-RCT.
McGill University funded fieldwork for middle-term evaluation of the intervention (T244294C0G).
The Quebec Population Health Research Network (QPHRN) funded fieldwork and publications.
The Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, CeiBA fundation and the Centro de Estudios Médicos Interculturales funded one doctoral student.